PR Insight: Media Training Tips

By Chuck Meyers February 7, 2019 Credit Union

CUES 27

How to prepare for your credit union’s next big interview

When the leadership of a credit union does interviews with the media, they have the potential to make a great impact. Media interviews enable CU spokespeople to educate members and potential members, spread awareness of what the organization is doing and position the credit union as a leader within the community. But these objectives can only be accomplished if CU spokespeople have gone through media training—to help them focus on what they need to communicate to a reporter and do so clearly. Preparation before an interview can mean the difference between being left out of an article and having the article or segment focus on you and your organization.

Before the Interview
The first thing to do once the interview has been scheduled is to review past articles or video clips produced by the reporter conducting the interview. Usually reporters have certain topics or perspectives that reoccur in their articles, so identifying these can help when trying to predict what kinds of questions may be asked. 

Next, spokespeople have to make sure they are aware of what the interview will be about and try to come up with a list of likely talking points. This step is crucial, because it enables spokespeople to gather their thoughts beforehand and be ready to confidently complete the interview. Usually a credit union will have approved messaging or key talking points that help define its role in the community and describe what makes the CU different. Spokespeople need to practice smoothly working these messages into their interview answers.

Typical key messages usually deal with issues like:

  • the credit union’s role in the community; 
  • the benefits to members of a new financial product; and
  • the credit union’s level of expertise handling an issue that may be the focus of the interview.

It is important to be aware of any existing sensitive issues that may come up, even if they are not related to the interview’s official topic. It is not uncommon for a reporter to ask about a past controversy even while interviewing someone about other issues. Being prepared and practicing to answer these types of questions is essential to achieving a successful interview.

This blog  was written for CU Management powered by CUES. To read the full post, click here

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